Annual Report 2003 - Leisure and Cultural Services Department Brand Hong Kong - Asia's world city
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  Festivals and International Conferences

International Arts Carnival 2003

The six-week International Arts Carnival provided high-quality cultural events and entertainment for children, teenagers and families during the summer vacation.

Musicians of Het Filiaal (Netherlands) playfully perform in Familieconcert Baron Rabinovitsj.
Musicians of Het Filiaal (Netherlands) playfully perform in Familieconcert Baron Rabinovitsj.

The carnival introduced delightful performances of different cultures and art forms to family audiences. It also served as a platform for local artists and groups to excel in their skills and expand their audience base. In addition to a rich series of stage performances, new interactive performances and seminars for parents and adults were included for the first time. Apart from the Graphic Design Competition open to all primary and secondary school students, the carnival also partnered with the South China Morning Post's Young Post in organising a creative writing competition for young people. School touring activities, intensive arts workshops, day camps, foyer performances and outdoor funfairs were also arranged.

Foyer performances of the International Arts Carnival bring enjoyment for people of all ages.
Foyer performances of the International Arts Carnival bring enjoyment for people of all ages.

The carnival opened in mid-July with sold-out performances of The Sleeping Beauty by the Hong Kong Ballet. Other box office hits included Familieconcert Baron Rabinovitsj by Het Filiaal from the Netherlands, the 5 Elements, Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater Co. from the US, Oops! Belle the Witch Is Gone! by Theatre Ensemble, My Date with Mozart by Hong Kong Sinfonietta, A Precious Little Baby by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and The Good Person of Szechwan by Actors' Family.

Although a few overseas performing groups could not participate due to the SARS outbreak, the carnival maintained its overall level of activities. A total of 26 local and overseas arts groups presented 449 events, attracting an attendance of more than 133,000. The patrons enjoyed the 'Arts Care' Ticket Discount Scheme and the carnival recorded an attendance rate of about 90% in average for its events.


Legends of China Festival 2003

Following the success of the first Legends of China Festival in 2001, the same thematic festival was again presented from mid-October to November 2003. The scope of selected works was expanded from the historical and legendary figures of China to cover stories of a legendary nature and memorable times in Chinese history. Other than traditional repertoires, the festival also featured modern works and injected new energies to the legacy of Chinese arts.

The opening programme, Legend of Yao Ji, was an original western opera production performed by a celebrated artistic collaboration of established artists from the Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The Legend of Yao Ji heralds the start of the Legends of China Festival.
The Legend of Yao Ji heralds the start of the Legends of China Festival.

Traditional programmes included How a Dead Cat Was Substituted for a New-born Prince by the Shanghai Peking Opera Theatre, A Night with Hebei Bangzi Opera by the Hebei Bangzi Opera Troupe of Beijing, A Showcase of Chinese Regional Operas by the performing groups from the Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces, Chanting from Mountains Afar by the Ensemble of Gansu Gannan Labrang Monastery, Ancient Dance and Music of Dunhuang by the Gansu Dunhuang Art Ensemble, The Legendary Four of Cantonese Opera organised by the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong and a series of guqin concerts.

A modern twist to the traditional repertoire was evident in The Hidden Concubine by the Contemporary Legend Theatre of Taiwan and Yan Xijiao by the Peking Opera Troupe of Beijing. The Chinese National Orchestra also created a new musical experience in the Gallery of Chinese Symphonic Music.

Local productions included Action! Mr. Lai! by the Chung Ying Theatre Company, The Seventh Drawer by Theatre Fanatico and 18 Springs by Zuni Icosahedron. Alongside the stage performances, extension activities ranging from performance tours to secondary schools and universities, exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations, to free outdoor performances were organised.

A total of 26 local and overseas artists groups presented 94 events in the festival and attracted over 70,000 people.


International Conferences

Arts managers of the department are sent to international conferences and festivals throughout the year to keep abreast of world developments in the arts, to foster exchanges with international counterparts and to scout quality overseas programmes for presentation in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was formally awarded the hosting rights of the 2006 International Society for the Performing Arts Foundation (ISPA) International Congress at the ISPA Annual Conference held in London in December 2003. It is expected that more than 300 overseas delegates will join the 2006 Congress.

 
 
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